Saturday, October 31, 2009

Sunday, October 25, 2009

A trip to Lincoln Park

A couple of weeks ago Eloise made a visit to Lincoln Park which is right on the sound. The playground is lovely and shady, hidden in the trees, but the best part about it is the water. You can play on the "beach" (is a rocky shore considered a beach?) and watch the ferries come and go. Every time I'm on the shore of the Puget Sound I am reminded of precisely why I love Seattle so much (and why we pay so freakin' much to live here! ha ha).







You might enjoy this last set of photos :)




Pumpkin painting and more park pictures

We got pumpkins with the intent of carving them, but Eloise is SO in to painting, she wanted to paint hers, instead. Iris thought that was a great idea, so she painted hers, as well. After the paint dried she did ask me to carve a kitty face in to it, however.






Park playdate

From a park day last week:
We started out thinking it was going to be very wet outside . . .
But rain clothes were quickly shed!



A favorite family sport is playing soccer with the dog. We have a pink princess soccer ball.


Here's our trusty dog, Heidi. Not as smart as she should be, but we adore her.



Eloise can get on the swings all by herself AND knows how to pump (though she often refuses to).

Friday, October 23, 2009

Have you heard of this swine flu thing?

It's really going around ;)

I find to be the whole thing to be extremely confusing and suspect that I'm not alone. Up until, oh, about 24 hours ago I've shrugged it off, for the most part. Our family are very conservative vaccinators, so I never thought twice about vaccinating myself or the girls for H1N1. I tend to be a bit of a freak about germs in general, so we aren't doing much different than we've always done in the face of this flu. We've always washed our hands upon coming in from being out of the house. Always use sanitizing wipes if we can't wash our hands out in public before eating. We stay away from intentionally socializing with people who are sick with anything more than a random cough and sniffly nose. We take our vitamins every day, eat fairly well and sleep enough. You get the idea. So, not doing anything different.

Okay, so then, yesterday, I get an email saying there is a confirmed case of H1N1 at my girl's very small school. FREAK OUT CITY. I have NO idea why I reacted at all to this news. As our school's director pointed out, it's everywhere right now. We were exposed at school, but likely are exposed in most public places that we visit. But thinking about an infected kid hocking swine flu loogies on my three year old, well, I went in to freak out overdrive.

I considered not sending my kid to school today. Why? I have NO idea (I did send her). Interestingly, about 1/3 of her class was out (sick? freaked? who knows.) I also spoke to our family doctor on the phone today. Ever so grateful that she took the time to talk to me knowing how busy her days usually are. She confirmed what I originally felt about this whole thing, and that was that we don't need to be any more freaked about it than we are about the regular flu, which is (for us) not really at all. Some people are regular flu vaccinators. I never was and, unless something changes with the health of a family member's immune system, never will be. She felt, as do I, that this whole fury is a product of the media blowing it up all crazy and freaking people out. Yes, people are getting very sick. Yes, people are dying. But you know what? People die of the regular flu. About 36,000 deaths in the US each year from the regular ol' flu. As of now, Yahoo! is reporting 1,000 US deaths from H1N1. Yes, it's people that they may not normally see succumbing, but hello, that number isn't exactly freak out worthy, comparatively speaking.

That's pretty much the bottom line, for me. Are we going to die? Yes? No? Well, probably not.

I was also very shocked to find out that WA state lifted their limits on safe levels of mercury (which is an ingredient in thimerosal, which is used as a preservative) in their H1N1 vaccines. I was told by our doctor that this doesn't apply to the nasal mist, which has no thimerosal, but rather to the injectible vaccine. I have yet to find anywhere that says what amounts of mercury will be possible in this vaccine, but this document indicates that the present allowable limits (before being lifted) are 1.0 mcg per .5 milliliter dose. Has anyone else gotten more information on this?

Of course, I was interested in also finding out, how much mercury do people consume when they eat, say, tuna? I didn't find anything definite, but it appears that a serving of tuna can contain up to about 1.4 ppm of mercury. So, even getting one lone dose of a mercury containing vaccine isn't going to completely wreck your body (as far as we know), however many doses, or doses of vaccines coupled with a diet higher in mercury containing foods, can start causing all sorts of funky symptoms in your body, not to mention whacking a few IQ points off of your children.

Since our family chooses to not vaccinate heavily, in general, we therefor are not exposed to high amounts of mercury in that form. We also do not consume mercury-containing fish so I'm not terribly concerned about the levels in ONE vaccine, would we choose to receive it. Really, for me, it's just more food for thought regarding the safety of the vaccine.

Okay, I'm starting to ramble about all of this now, but I thought it would help me to lay it all out here. Maybe it will help someone else?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Painting pumpkins

A little while ago we got some tiny pumpkins from the store and the girls decided that they would like to paint them. Here goes!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Oh, Eloise

Matt took this picture of the girls frosting cupcakes on my birthday. I think it is a great example of my girls. Eloise, looking like a crazy strung-out-on-sugar lunatic, overshadowing her sister who knows how to act a little more, well, normal.

We adore Eloise. She gets alot of face time in our house for being the loudest, the silliest, the most demanding, the happiest, the saddest, you get the idea.

She is more of everything. She is a handful. I have said it before, I'll say it probably a million more times. A handful.

I am starting to gather that at school things are a wee bit difficult. I adore Eloise's school, I adore her teachers, I adore the director, everything about it is great. It is hard, though, to really get a chance to talk to the teachers about Eloise, about what is going on with her day-to-day in the classroom. She is there 15 hours a week, so they see a lot of her! Today I got an update, however, from a little five year old in Eloise's class. She came over to me when Iris and I came in the room to get Eloise. The little girl started telling me Eloise had been hitting people. That she was spitting. That she spilled her water on another little boy. She asked me, "does she even like other people?" OUCH. I explained that Eloise did like people, that she just has a hard time figuring out how to get along with them sometimes.

I think, more than anything, this is my biggest fear for Eloise. That her behavior and her outbursts and her harming other kids will make them not want to be friends with her. She has quite a bit of charm and charisma which is helping her out, but at a certain point, kids aren't going to want to put up with her shit anymore.

In addition to how she is treating other kids, she just has major, mind-numbing tantrums many times a day.

Anyways, I'm struggling quite a bit with how to help her. Her outbursts are SO grand and getting even grander by the day, that when she's in the middle of it, it's about damage control. I scan the area to make sure there isn't anything she can break, like glass or expensive electronics. I look to see if anything special of Iris's is nearby, since Eloise is fond of wrecking her art projects. Then, depending on how good I'm doing, I will try to sit with her to help her calm down before talking to her. If I'm just not in a good head space I just leave her to freak out and get mad at her.

It feels like being tender and gentle with her doesn't help, getting mad at her doesn't help, yelling at her doesn't help, bribing or threatening her doesn't help . . . you get the idea. Trying to prevent her from harming someone else or something is always the best bet, but that literally means being right next to her at all times. And this girl is like the energizer bunny . . . her energy level is incredible. I just CAN'T be next to her at every single moment, and neither can her teachers.

Anyways, I just had a particularly rough afternoon (both of the girls were at school until 3:00) so I'm thinking about all of this tonight more than normal.

Plugging along

A new post up at my homeowner's blog!

Plugging along

Monday, October 12, 2009

A lovely birthday, indeed

I think on this birthday I am most thankful for, after the obvious things, is Facebook. Ever since Facebook came around and told everyone it was your birthday everyone writes you Happy Birthday wishes alllll day long. It's so cool. I've gotten phone calls, emails, texts, FB messages, it's made me feel super duper special!

When I moved to Seattle eight years ago, just two or three days before THE September 11th (that's how I'll never forget the year!), I had my 24th birthday a month after arriving. It was the worst birthday ever. I think I got a phone call from my parents and that was pretty much it. I was so sad. The best thing about birthdays is a sweet little message of happiness from friends and family far and near. It always means the world to me. So, yes, Facebook, thanks for making it possible that my day was absolutely made.

Highlight of my day? Going out to lunch at Agua Verde with my hubby.

So far, 32 is allllriiiiight.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Drive-by posting in the twilight of my 31's

Yep. Another birthday tomorrow. But that's another post for another day. When she was going to bed this evening, Eloise said "I hope you like your joy!" at first I thought she said "toy" so I said "oh, you got me a toy?" and she said "no, joy". Oh that little peanut. If she wasn't so cute in moments like this she might be sold to the gypsies. Don't even get me started about how sassy she was yesterday . . .

Speaking of yesterday, my amazing, awesome, resilient friend babysat our girls for over EIGHT HOURS so that we could attend the wedding of our friends way over on the Kitsap Peninsula. Here they are, just over a year ago at my wedding. Adam was the one who married Matt and I. His bride, Laura, could not be a more perfect match for him.



The wedding was perfect and wonderful in every way. I hate to take away from the joy of Adam and Laura's day, but OHMYGOD Matt and I spent over NINE hours without our children. I swear I was totally reborn as a new woman. Not only that, but we hung with four other couples that we have known for a while, three of them are parents. None of them had their kids, either. Let me tell you, I was cursing Miss Laura for her whole "kid-free wedding" crap but I had no idea that really it was the best idea ever of ALL TIME. So, yeah, we had a blast. Didn't bring my own camera, but some of the others at our table did, so maybe we'll get some photos of us living it up. Cake? YUM. Wine? Drank it all.

Of course, we get home and my friend was a bit shell-shocked at how insane my littlest angel can be. Yeah. But you know? I think they were fine. She may never babysit again, but we totally understand and wouldn't hold it against her.

It is the end of a long week, as Matt was in California from Wednesday afternoon until very late Friday night. We got up, slowly got ready, then went to the wedding on Saturday. Today we pretty much were lazy. Matt took the next two days off of work, which means that we will have all day tomorrow without kids, too. Iris was a little sad that she was going to miss the party tomorrow, but I assured her we wouldn't be having a party until she got home from school. It's going to be a lovely birthday, indeed. Almost as lovely as this one.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Seriously.

I refused to put this picture on my house blog because OHMYGOD. Look at this!

This is my daughters' playroom. Earlier in the day it was almost totally picked up. Why do I even bother? The thing that annoys me is that not only is it messy, but you can't even see the floor. Then they won't really play in there, because, duh, you can't find anything.

Also, I hate playdoh.

Let's see, so where were we? Oh yes. Iris has come full circle at school. I can't even believe it. Bounding in to the room every morning as happy as a clam. Today the teacher asked me if I could help with a nature walk. Of course, I was happy to oblige! I've been waiting to be able to help out (we were steering clear of having me in the classroom because of Iris's adjustment issues). Her class has 8 boys and 5 girls and is mixed age, kindergarten through second grade. They truly were mixed, it was so sweet. We went on the walk and boys and girls of different ages were walking buddies, at their choice. The teacher read them poetry while they walked and collected leaves and such. It was really neat.

And Eloise? Well, little Eloise. She is fully potty-trained now. We even gave away all of our left-over diapers last week, donating them to the girls' school. I can't even believe it. Diapering one (or both) children for over FIVE years. Wowsa. I am so proud of her! She is still fond of putting the smack-down on other children, which isn't so fun, but we're working on it. She is a girl of uncontrollable impulses.

Now we're still trying to tackle getting them to fall asleep at night. Sharing a room, they fight and play and sing and yell and come up for potty/water/toys, etc etc. UGH. Every night it's a struggle. I KNOW they are tired, but they just get that second wind or something when they go to bed.

And me? I've been good. Working like a mad-woman to do home projects on the two days a week both girls are at school. To hear more about that, please feel free to check in at my house blog. It's pretty exciting, everything is coming together! We spend our weekends partly working, partly playing and partly resting. It's lovely.